YouTube Gear Guide

YouTube Gear Guide


There is no doubt that video is incredible.  This is a guide to get you started with video, CHEAP.  Whether you want to start a YouTube channel, are looking to be more consistent with your video presence or just want to rock your Instagram or Facebook live video. I am going to show you how to learn from my mistakes, make the most of what you have already and jump in. No excuses. It doesn’t matter if you are creating videos for YouTube, or just want your Instagram stories to POP. The principles are the same.

If you are interested in my video workflow checklist, you can get that right here! If you don’t want to read another word and just want to check out the gear I love…it’s in my Amazon Store.

In the years I have been on YouTube I have made a ton of mistakes.  I made most of those in my first few months. This guide is to help you avoid wasting time and money. Oh, you want to know what some of my mistakes were…well, I bought gear I didn’t need, I was time wasted on things that made no difference, I was inconsistent in posting videos because I was caught up in being ‘perfect.’ In short,  don’t be me. Getting stuck on the little details will hold you back from jumping into video. The best way to start a YouTube channel or incorporate video in any of your social platforms is to begin.

There are only a few main gear considerations that you even need to worry about to start. Use what you have and build as you go. DO NOT GET GEAR CRAZY!  There are a few decisions you need to make, and then you are ready to jump in. You need to; 1. Pick a camera, 2. Decide on sound, 3. Find the light, 4. Keep it steady, 5. Pick your editing software. I will dive a little deeper into each area. I put together the exact equipment I use for you here.

YouTube gear guide. Getting started on YouTube Cheap1. Pick a Camera

You likely already have a camera that will work perfectly well. If you have an iPhone that is only a few years old the rear-facing camera and video options are going to give you all the quality you need to get started. Remember, if you are using a cellphone – use the rear facing camera in landscape mode (sideways) you will get the best image quality and the video will be the right size for YouTube. You do not need a multi-thousand dollar camera that shoots 4K video to get started, even if you want one.  If you want a camera with a screen you can see, there are plenty of point and shoot class cameras that will do the job.

I started my channel using a  Canon Gx7. It is a great point and shoot with good enough sound if you are shooting close to your camera. A huge bonus is that the screen flips up to the top so you can see your shot and keep an eye on your focus while you record.

PRO TIP– when using a flip-up screen do not forget to look INTO THE LENS. If you just look at yourself, you will come across on video like you are looking above your audience, rather than looking at them.

2.Decide on Sound

Poor sound is one of my biggest pet peeves. It took me a few videos to figure out that I had to turn off my fish tank filter to eliminate the annoying background noise while I filmed. The first step to good sound is picking the right time and location to film. If you are filming inside choose somewhere reasonably quiet. If you film outside you may want to have a lavalier mic (a small clip-on) clipped to the color of your shirt so that you can be heard if you are handholding your camera you will be close enough that this may not matter.  If you are using a cell phone, make sure that whichever tripod you are using doesn’t block the microphone on the phone.  You can also get a lavalier mic for $10-20 that goes right into your phone and provides excellent sound.  I filmed for years with the mic in the camera I was using. It works great. I have recently switched my filming set up and am now further away from the camera and have a small on-camera mic like the one pictured above. The only reason I switched was that the distance between me and my camera increased. I encourage you to film a few videos first and see how your sound is. Don’t be afraid to make shifts to where you film to find the space that works best for you.

  3.  Find the light

If you want quality video, it has to be well lit. This does not mean you have to start spending money on lights. Your house should not look like you also film a reality TV show there.  If you can film somewhere with a window, you have light. Just make sure that you are facing the window, the camera is facing you, and the camera is not casting a shadow on you while you are filming. If you entirely cannot shoot facing a window, you need to add a little light. I would start with my favorite little LIT clip. It is a dimmable, chargeable clip-on light that is the perfect size for filming from a phone, laptop or a camera. That little light makes life so much easier and I regularly use it instead of my more expensive stand lights. Why do I use my clip-on light more? Because I don’t have to set it up, take it down and put it away. the LIT clip is fast, easy and just get’s the job done. Start there and don’t waste your money elsewhere!

4. Keep It Steady

Shaky video is the worst. Remember The Blair Witch Project that had people getting motion sick in movie theatres?  Don’t be the Blair Witch Project.  If you are vlogging a quick and easy tip is to add a small tripod to the bottom of your camera and hold that. It gives you a bit more control and will smooth out the video. The same thing goes for your phone. Just use the tripod with a cell phone adaptor and keep it steady. Again, the tripod doesn’t need to be expensive. I have a selfie stick listed in my favorite products because it is useful for so many things, including as a tripod with the attached feet and it works for cell phones and small cameras! Did I mention it’s cheap?? Yea. That is an excellent place to start.

 5. Pick Your Editing Software

This may sound intimidating, but it can be straightforward.  Start with what you have. All Apple products come with iMovie, and most windows products come with Movie Maker. These are both free and simple ways to start editing your videos. I am an Apple die hard, and I still use iMovie to edit my videos. I have a quick intro, a short outro and edit out any fumbles on my part (well….sometimes I leave them in, but you get the point). Your editing doesn’t need to be cinematic, it can be done in the phone to keep your video moving along, at a reasonable length and allow you to clean up any small problems.

 PRO-TIP – the better you plan your video the less you will have to edit. If you have a clear direction going into your video your edits will be much, much easier. You won’t be rearranging what you said or trying to create an introduction from nothing. If you want to take a look at my YouTube workflow checklist, you can download it below.

You’ve got this. Get out there and make some videos! When you have your channel up and running please find me on Instagram and YouTube and let me know what your channel is so I can check it out. As always I am here to help you make decisions and save you money. If there is anything I can do to help just let me know!

For all the latest from me please follow me on YouTube and don’t forget to download your workflow below!


Get an iPhone X. Essential pre-order tricks you need TODAY!

Get an iPhone X. Essential pre-order tricks you need TODAY!

EmilyDBaker iPhoneX, How to get an iPhoneX, Best way to buy iPhoneX
How to buy an iPhone, EmilyDBaker iPhone, Best way to buy iPhone8

**Update 11-2-17**

Please see my post about what actually happened on Pre-Order for the iPhoneX. It was a wild night with lots of issues with the Apple Store app. Apple told everyone, history told everyone, to use the App. The App turned out to be the least reliable method of ordering!  -Emily **

Want the new iPhoneX, me too! I am so excited. If the reports of short supply and impossible pre-orders have you concerned, do not fear. I have your back. This is, after all, what I do. Let’s talk iPhoneX.

The arrival of a new iPhone is one of the highlights of my year, every year. That’s right…Every year. I have ordered, bought, pre-ordered, waited in line and otherwise obtained every iPhone since the first one. I am a die-hard fangirl and today that is to your benefit.

If the thought of not having the iPhoneX in your hand on November 3rd makes you panic, this is for you. If you are like, meh, what’s the big us all a favor and wait a month before you order this phone.

It’s go time people. Let’s get prepared. I am going to walk you through the decisions you need to make and the action items with each decision. I am all about empowered decision-making, and for that you need information. So let’s jump in.

1. Which iPhoneX?

Pick your Model. Do you want Black or Silver? Then do you want 64GB or 256GB? Most people can get away with the 64GB. If you never offload your photos to a computer or shoot a ton of 4K video, then consider the 256GB. The 64GB base price is $999 The 256GB price is $1149.

2. How are you buying your iPhoneX?

You need to decide how you are buying the phone. The options are basically to buy it outright, upgrade through your carrier or upgrade through the apple trade in program.

Buying it outright? Baller. Go onto and select the color (Black or Silver) and the capacity you want ( Skip down to Where Are You Buying)

Buying it through an upgrade program? Great! If you are planning on upgrading through your cell phone carrier, you must make sure your phone bill is PAID! Pay it today. Don’t be me that one year where my phone bill became due at 12 pm on pre-order day and I couldn’t upgrade because my bill wasn’t paid. That sucked. Hold on…let me just go and check my bill.

Buying through Apple’s upgrade program? You can get pre-authorized through Apple at Do that NOW.

3. Where are you buying?

Where do you want to buy this phone? In Store? Online? You are right. It’s a trick question. Waiting in line for this phone does not guarantee the phone. Nobody’s got time for that. You are ordering online. So do you order through Apple or your cell phone carrier? I always have and always will go through Apple. In the last few pre-orders, they have bumped their system to ensure that pre-orders are quick and easy. Some people have luck through their carrier website, it is really up to you…but order through Apple.

**PRO-TIP** Download the Apple Store app, right now. This is the best way to order. You can do this on your phone or iPad. It is the fastest option, and therefore it gives you the best chance at getting that phone.

4. Prep Your Payment.

Now that we have decided that the Apple Store app is the best way to buy the phone, you need to prep it for quick payment. Yes, prep it today. The app will go offline on Thursday evening ahead of launch, so if you wait it may not get done. Set up your apple pay with your shipping address and the payment method you want to use for your phone. That will give you the best chance of a speedy checkout.

           **PRO-TIP** make sure the address in apple pay is the address you want the phone shipped to. It will default to the billing address as the shipping address, and someone needs to be available to sign for the phone on release day!

5. Pick up or Ship?

When you check out, you will be given the option to pick your phone up in store with a selected appointment time to have it shipped to you. With the iPhone 7, I picked up in store, with the 8 I had it shipped. With the 7 there was about an hour line even with an appointment time, but the people in line were pretty great, you get your phone in hand and you can high-five your favorite Apple employee. With the 8 I was surprised by my phone because it was delivered pretty early in the day. Remember, with delivery, someone needs to sign for it, or you pre-sign and risk your phone being left unattended. People know when these are being delivered and doorstep theft is always a consideration.

6. Celebrate!

You have prepped and pre-ordered your phone. You can join me on Facebook live as I pre-order and you can see all my past iPhone day and unboxings here. So let me know are you getting the iPhoneX and are you shipping or picking up??


If this was helpful please share it along with friends and don’t forget to join the conversation on my mailing list for all the goodies.

3 Time-Saving Beauty Hacks Every Busy Woman Needs To Know

3 Time-Saving Beauty Hacks Every Busy Woman Needs To Know

If you are like me, mornings can be a challenge.  Let’s be real, mornings are a challenge. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those post about getting up earlier (though that can help), or how to eat breakfast in 4.5 seconds. Before I left my law job to become a full-time entrepreneur I spent most days with wet pulled back hair, barely any makeup and boring nails. I know…totally not me!  It is hard to feel cute when you constantly run out of the house without getting ready. I thought working for myself would allow me the time to pull myself together. Wrong.  I trade wet hair for a baseball cap and sometimes (maybe more than sometimes..) clothes that I wore yesterday.

There was a tipping point where I decided I wanted to look like I had my S*&t together at least some of the time. But, I don’t want to spend all the time in the world doing it. It became my mission to feel cute and put together, in a minimum, mom-friendly, amount of time. So I started looking for ways to simplify my beauty routine, wrangle my hair quickly and feel like I looked alive.

Now, I don’t know when it happened, but I totally missed the girl skill of doing my own hair. I literally never learned how to properly blow it out or style it and I am old, so YouTube wasn’t there to teach me all things teen beauty. But sitting here at almost 40 I have found the answer.  The Revlon one step hairdryer volumizer magic unicorn hair styling tool (ok, I added the last bit but it’s true). This recommendation came by way of a facebook group. I saw women with all kinds of hair having amazing results and tracked down this bad boy myself. I have used it for over a month, I have traveled with it, I have raved about it to everyone I know.  It is really that good.

One of the things I love most is having cute nails. However, I loathe the time in the chair and the upcharge for art on each nail. At just $8.99 each set the Incoco Nail Polish strips are my godsend. I actually reached out to Incoco and asked for a coupon code to share with you and they gave you 15% off!!!! So use code EmilyDBaker15 and you are set. These strips are basically nailed stickers but made out of nail polish. They come in amazing designs (and plain color if you are into that sort of thing).  They come off with nail polish remover and last about 2 weeks. They go on easily and are instantly dry. (see the video below! Even I can do it.) They make doing my nails a breeze and I love them so much.If you have never tried them use the coupon and check it out, you will never go back!

Finally, I live for the Arbonne Ultra. This is an ultrasonic skin care device and is the first of its kind. It allows your skin care products to penetrate the deeper levels of your skin so that when your skin turns over you have amazing glowing healthy skin coming up. It has made a difference in my skin and wrinkles and I rave about it in the video below. If you know an Arbonne consultant please show them some love. If you don’t, or you have questions, leave a comment or e-mail me and I will get you taken care of.

If you have morning hacks that make your days easier please let me know what they are because I love a good time saver!!! Don’t forget to join my e-mail community so we can continue the conversation!



Setting up a new iPhone? Make it easy!!

Setting up a new iPhone? Make it easy!!

Sometimes trying to set up a new phone is as easy as can be. Often it just isn’t! I have been through more iPhone upgrades than I care to count because it’s pretty embarrassing….but I have learned a few simple things along the way.  First, decide if you are going to set up your new phone from a backup or as a new phone entirely. Then clean up the apps on your phone. If you are anything like me you have some apps that you never use hanging out on your phone.  So get rid of those! Then back up your phone. Backup your photos to the cloud and get ready to go. If you are setting up your phone as a new phone check out the video below for how to save just your Health and Achievement data!

I hope this is helpful!